Friday, August 27, 2010

decisions, decisions

Stepping out the doors, I appreciatively breathe in the clean, fresh air, and glance around me, hugging myself, feeling both lucky, and apprehensive. Its early. I get to go home, and sleep. But, one more patient admitted to my floor brings me back. Will I go home and go to bed? Or stay awake, waiting for that intrusive phone call that recalls me back to the florescent world I just left.

I make my way through the parking lot, noticing the lack of cars, and, more importantly, the lack of ambulances. No ambulance is a good sign. I work in the ICU. Our patients are usually delivered via ambulance. Sometimes they surprise me, crazy people driving through my town having crushing chest pain, or stroke symptoms. I always lecture them. I don't want them behind the wheel, impaired like that!
Jumping in my jeep, I choose to leave the radio off, to enjoy the quiet of this summer night. The temperature has dipped, thankfully. The air conditioner stays off. Smiling, I point Roxie towards home, and off we go.
My brain is still clicking with activity. I did not expect to go home early. But, we sent one fortunate soul home with his wife, sent one to another hospital, and transferred one to another floor. They didn't need so many nurses, and I was the chosen one. The one who volunteered. Happily.
Eight short minutes later, I roll up the driveway, and appreciate the beautiful sight of home. I hurry past the front of the house, not wanting to shine my lights into the front windows. Our bedroom is in the front, and MM has to get up for work in a few, short hours. I park in my customary spot, and open the door. Three shapes materialize at the back door. Meowing, plaintively, thinking that I will be fooled, and give them more of the canned food they adore. I laugh, softly, ruffle a few heads, and step over them, and into the door, into my welcoming kitchen. Sighing, I know I want to go lay down, and sleep. Yet my mind echoes with the fact that it just takes ONE PERSON, needing care, and I will reverse my route. Its what I do.
I walk through the darkness, hoping no one moved anything while I was gone, knowing they didn't. They never do. The iced tea I had causes me to head for the bathroom, where I blind myself with light, and see my night gown, hanging on its hook. Unable to resist, I pull my uniform off. The decision is made, it really has been. I am going to spin the wheel, take my chances.
Quickly, now, so as not to lose any time, I finish my ablutions, and stealthily make my way into the bedroom, around its mess (it is a mess) and to my bed. I have phone in hand, and use it, occasionally, to shine light, so I can see. I find MM in the middle of the bed, snoring lightly. He is deep into dream land. I remember one task I wanted to do, and accomplish it easily, using my phone. (What did I ever do, before the advent of my iPhone?). I put it down, make sure the house phone is easily within reach, mutter a prayer (please, don't ring!), and drift down, into bed, gently nudging MM out of my spot. Softly, I kiss him, and roll over, grateful for my fortune. I say a better prayer then please don't ring, and work on quieting my mind, so that I can sleep.
MM eventually realizes I am home, I know this because suddenly, there are arms around me, pulling me into a spooning embrace. Kisses land on my shoulder, then, just as suddenly, he is gone, again. Blame the night time bladder.
"how did you escape early?" he asks a few moments later as he shuffles back to the bed, and is asleep before I can give him a full answer, like I knew he'd be. MM can fall asleep in mere seconds. Me? At least 20 minutes. Sometimes more.
Sighing, I quiet my mind, again, and finally, blissfully, fall to sleep.
The phone, blessedly, stays silent. My town stayed safe, no one else falling ill enough to require the services of a tired ICU nurse. Good for them, Good for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

coming to a television near you

So here we are again

on the cusp of another football season.
Every year, I've blogged about how happy I am that football is starting up again. Why should this year be different?
I've figured out something, though. Its not JUST the football that I look forward to. Its what the start of the season signifies.
With the start of football season, comes FALL. I love the fall. No matter what you want to call it. Fall, Autumn, whatever. It's my favorite season of all.
The air turns crisp, the heat (usually) goes away, kids have gone back to school. Halloween, caramel apples, falling leaves, and all the smells that go with it. Thanksgiving, which I like very much, because its a get together without the stress of gift giving or too much hullaballoo.
Now, if I can just keep all this in mind, while attempting to ignore all the people jumping the gun with the commercialized stuff....
but. Football.
I do love the football!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Shadow Play with Audrey

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I started this conversation last night with MM, but, poor soul, he was tired, and went to sleep instead.

So now I get to have this conversation with my blog. (those of you still reading? Chime in, or I'll just be talking to myself).
Much talk goes on about how (since they have grown up with the news, and such graphic examples of violence) de-semsitized our children are.
Well, I propose to you (or me) this
They are also de- sensitized to the phrase "I love you".
Yes, really.
I will explain my thoughts.
When I was younger, I love you was a phrase only used in family life. I never really dreamt of telling a friend that I loved them. I didn't love my friends, if you want all honesty. Not immediately. Love takes time to grow, even if its just a friendship love. I do have friends now, that I love. Anyhoo.
As I got older, that really didn't change. A boy, that I had been "seeing" for about 3 weeks, when I was sixteen, once told me that he loved me. I told him "no you don't", and promptly broke up with him, because I didn't want someone thinking he knew me well enough to declare love after three weeks. In my mind, that was idiotic.
As I reflect on this, I don't feel like I was alone in this kind of attitude. None of my friends verbally confessed love for me. None of my (other) boyfriends did, either. Love, and that magic phrase were reserved for that special someone. Not a phrase to be used lightly. Ever.
So when my (now ex) boyfriend/husband first told me he loved me?
I was over the moon.
Because I'd fallen in love with him, too.
And even now when MM tells me he loves me?
I still get a little thrill...
But I've been observing, quietly, the youth right now. Its easy for me, with MG living in the house.
They use "I love you" ALL THE TIME.
they have their text abbreviation for it (ily). They use it taking surveys when they answer something that will irritate a friend (don't hate me! ily!). They use it with their boyfriends/girlfriends, almost immediately, almost like its expected. They "love" everyone they date?!?
Now, I can hear the detractors now
"Its nice that this generation feels the love".
Do they? Do they feel the love? How do they know? Do they love everyone? Do they have *that* special feeling for all their friends and boyfriends/girlfriends?
And what is going to happen when they DO discover that feeling, that irrevocable, heart breaking emotion that we feel when we do love, LOVE someone.
And they say
"I love you"
and that person, that they LOVE
"well I've heard that before."
because they have. Every day. Text messaged, verbalized, Facebooked. Whatever.
I fear "I love you" is losing its magic.
And it makes me sad...

Monday, August 16, 2010


Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kids of my county.

It seems so quick anymore, summer does. I liked it when school started in the cooler weather of September. But, they are so worried about 'snow days' here that they overcompensate. AND, the kids get more time off during the year... so it all balances out.
Mustang Girl is going to be a Junior in High School this year.
An upper-classman.
She's going to be graduating before I even blink an eye!
I cannot believe how fast time flies. She was a little girl, I swear she was. But now she is doing things like going to the Prom, having a steady boyfriend, and (dare I even say it?) contemplating DRIVING.
Its just NOT right, I tell you.
But she does have a kick ass class schedule this year. We are looking forward to it :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The last of the read along questions....

1) In Chapter 9, a restless Rat meets a Seafaring Rat who entices him with the lure of the open sea and of travelling. Entranced, Rat starts to leave with him, but is hindered by Mole. What did you think of this scene, and what did you think of Mole’s cure for his wanderlust? I actually thought this chapter was really bizarre, and it it kind of interrupted the flow of the book for me. Of all the characters that would be enticed this way, I would not have thought it of Rat. I think Mole did the best he could, and the only thing he knew to do. After all, it's what they tried to do to keep Toad in check. But this chapter disturbed me. I didn't like it. Especially when he changed Rat's eye color. It was almost as if he were trying to get us to buy into the fact that Rat got possessed by the seafaring rat. Yech.

2) Chapter 10 is the Further Adventures of Toad where he lies, cheats, steals, and makes his way home. What did you think of his adventures, and do you think he’s grown or changed at the end of this chapter? STILL not enjoying Toad. I don't think Toad will ever change or grow up. He's too selfish to do so.

3) In Chapter 11, Rat tells Toad, “Now, Toady, I don't want to give you pain, after all you've been through already; but, seriously, don't you see what an awful ass you've been making of yourself? On your own admission you have been handcuffed, imprisoned, starved, chased, terrified out of your life, insulted, jeered at, and ignominiously flung into the water--by a woman, too! Where's the amusement in that? Where does the fun come in?” and Toad’s response is, perhaps surprisingly, “Now, it was a very comforting point in Toad's character that he was a thoroughly good-hearted animal and never minded being jawed by those who were his real friends. And even when most set upon a thing, he was always able to see the other side of the question. So although, while the Rat was talking so seriously, he kept saying to himself mutinously, `But it WAS fun, though! Awful fun!' and making strange suppressed noises inside him, k-i-ck-ck-ck, and poop-p-p, and other sounds resembling stifled snorts, or the opening of soda-water bottles, yet when the Rat had quite finished, he heaved a deep sigh and said, very nicely and humbly, `Quite right, Ratty! How SOUND you always are! Yes, I've been a conceited old ass, I can quite see that; but now I'm going to be a good Toad, and not do it any more.” – he resolves to return to Toad Hall but is thwarted by the fact that it was taken over by stroats and weasels. The rest of the chapter involves plans to reclaim Toad Hall by our crew of four. What do you think of Toad’s response to Rat? What do you think of the preparations for the “big battle?” Once a Toad, always a Toad? Though he seemed miserable during his whole 'adventure' away from home, he was, sub-conciously, thrilled at having another tale to tell his friends at home. He was miserable, I suspect, at the prospect that he might not make it home to TELL them. Once he did, of course he is going to consider it a fun adventure. Because if it wasn't fun to go adventure, then he'd have to settle down, wouldn't he?
As far as the battle for Toad Hall, I think it was something thrown in so the friends could have one, last Hurrah together before the book ended.

4) Chapter 12 is the climatic battle, and resolution. What do you think of this chapter? Is it a satisfying ending to this situation? I guess so. But I have to admit, by the end of this book, I was kind of disappointed. I had a hard time getting through the last few chapters, especially after the odd Ratty gets possessed chapter.

5) Our book ends “After this climax, the four animals continued to lead their lives, so rudely broken in upon by civil war, in great joy and contentment, undisturbed by further risings or invasions. Toad, after due consultation with his friends, selected a handsome gold chain and locket set with pearls, which he dispatched to the gaoler's daughter with a letter that even the Badger admitted to be modest, grateful, and appreciative; and the engine-driver, in his turn, was properly thanked and compensated for all his pains and trouble. Under severe compulsion from the Badger, even the barge-woman was, with some trouble, sought out and the value of her horse discreetly made good to her; though Toad kicked terribly at this, holding himself to be an instrument of Fate, sent to punish fat women with mottled arms who couldn't tell a real gentleman when they saw one. The amount involved, it was true, was not very burdensome, the gipsy's valuation being admitted by local assessors to be approximately correct.

Sometimes, in the course of long summer evenings, the friends would take a stroll together in the Wild Wood, now successfully tamed so far as they were concerned; and it was pleasing to see how respectfully they were greeted by the inhabitants, and how the mother-weasels would bring their young ones to the mouths of their holes, and say, pointing, `Look, baby! There goes the great Mr. Toad! And that's the gallant Water Rat, a terrible fighter, walking along o' him! And yonder comes the famous Mr. Mole, of whom you so often have heard your father tell!' But when their infants were fractious and quite beyond control, they would quiet them by telling how, if they didn't hush them and not fret them, the terrible grey Badger would up and get them. This was a base libel on Badger, who, though he cared little about Society, was rather fond of children; but it never failed to have its full effect.” What did you think of this ending? And, what did you think of the book overall? I thought the end was kind of weak. I don't believe for a minute that Toad could settle down and not cause trouble. I would bet money that Mole would eventually find his way back to his snug warren, and visit often. And I feel like the Badger character got lost towards the end. He just seemed grumpy and unhappy to me. The end of this book, for me, was anti climactic.

6) The delightful Grace passed along this article about Kenneth Grahame After learning more about his life, does it alter or change your opinion of the book? I can't open the article, so I am at a loss for this one

7) Anything I’ve missed? Still don't think so

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More read along with Mimi

1) In Chapter 5, Mole and Rat go by Mole’s house and Mole is reminded, “but it was my own little home--and I was fond of it--and I went away and forgot all about it--and then I smelt it suddenly--on the road, when I called and you wouldn't listen, Rat--and everything came back to me with a rush--and I WANTED it!” – what did you think about Mole’s reaction to his home?

I totally get Mole's reaction, here. As a matter of fact, I almost cried when Ratty just kind of blew his friend off and kept going. Sometimes, certain passages of books break my heart, and this was one of them. Probably because I love my home so much, too. Sure, I travel, and leave it, but there is no place like home, the place that is yours, where you can put your slippers on, let your hair down, and just be YOU. My guess is that Mole misses that, but didn't realize it until that scent of home crossed his nose...

2) Later in the same chapter, there is a very sweet Christmas scene. After field-mice serenade Mole and Rat, they reciprocate by throwing a dinner. What did this say about Christmas traditions of England at the turn of the 20th Century, and what did you think Mole and Rat drew from it?
I think Mole and Rat drew away comfort, fun, and the spirit of generosity from this unexpected, yet expected Christmas treat. It greatly uplifted Mole, who was having a hard time adjusting back into, and appreciating his home, and it gave Ratty something to do and arrange, which he desperately needed.
As far as the first part of your question, during that time, it was much safer, and more of a common practice to invite strangers into your home, entertain them, or let them entertain you, and enjoy getting to know them. We've progressed, too far, from that. It would be a wonderous thing if we could get back to it. But I don't see that happening...

3) In Chapter 6 despite everyone else’s best efforts, Toad escapes, steals a car, and a Wild Ride ensues. What did you think of this episode, and did it confirm or change your opinion of Toad? Sadly, I STILL don't like Toad. Were I his friends, I am afraid that I would have left Toad to his own destruction, and to spend his money as he wished. It just confirmed to me that he is a, well, for lack of a better description, a manipulative little Toad.
But yet, the book needs him, or their wee world would be a little too good.

4) In the next chapter Badger’s son goes missing and is found by Mole and Rat with Pan. What did you think of the description of Pan and of their meeting? I loved the fact that there was still, after all these years, something new for Ratty on the river. This was a beautiful chapter, one of my favorites thus far.

5) Chapter 8 finds Toad jailed (or gaoled ) for his crimes. Ulimately he befriends the gaoler’s daughter and escapes. Does this episode teach Toad anything? Do you think this was a reasonable punishment? The punishment was a bit extreme, but I don't think Toad will learn much from it. I think it will temporarily slow him down, the recollection of how miserable and depressed he was when he was locked in a TRUE prison, (as opposed to being guarded by his friends). Eventually, that recollection will fade into a distant, unpleasant memory, and then Toad will get distracted by something else new and shiny, and away he will go. Its his nature. And truthfully? I doubt his friends would want him any other way. In a strange way, its kind of like McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He was trouble from the start, but when the "man" lobotomized him, and cured him, his best friend didn't want him that way, and smothered him. I do hope this book doesn't end with smothered Toad, though...

6) Anything that I’ve missed or anything you’d like to mention? Still can't think of anything. But my brain is tired.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Read along with Mimi

I'm reading "Wind in the Wilows" along with my friend, Mimi, and some of her friends. These are my answers to her read along questions :)

Wind In the Willows Questions for Chapters 1-4

1) What do you think about the characters beinganthropomorphized
animals? Is this easy or difficult for you to reconcile with their behaviors?
Its funny, because I am finding that I don't mind certain animals being anthropomorphized, like Ratty, and Mole, but for some reason, the FROG, of all things, kind of bothers me. I can't decide if that's because of the personality and mannerisms they gave the frog, or if I just don't like them much in general...
Either way, I will admit, it does make it easier to envision the characters doing what they are doing by giving them human like attitudes.

2) Chapter One introduces us to Mole and his experiences one spring day as he decides to forego house cleaning and frolic in the fresh air instead. What do you think of his joy in the spring and of the river: “Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.”
I love the language of this book, and I especially love that Mole decided to take a chance, and leave his warren to go take a walk, and go further then he ever had before. He was rewarded for this by his introduction to the river, and, eventually, Ratty. This one, simple, joyful walk changed his life as he knew it, and Mole was brave enough to let this happen. Which is so unlike a Mole.

3) What do you think attracts Mole and Rat as friends? I think initially, Ratty is attracted to Mole because he just can't fathom that Mole knows nothing of the river that Ratty knows, and loves. Its incomprehensible to him that there is "someone" out there who doesn't know of the river. (Inconceivable!). For his part, Mole is so taken with the river that I think he'd do anything to stay near it. As time goes on, they get used to each other, and comfortable with each other. I think they bring out the best in each other. As solitary animals, they were wanting companionship, and they found it with each other.

4) In Chapter Two, we meet Toad who “Disregarding the Rat, he proceeded to play upon the inexperienced Mole as on a harp. Naturally a voluble animal, and always mastered by his imagination, he painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement” and embarks with Mole and Rat in tow. What do you think of Toad, and of their adventure? And, what do you think when at the end of the chapter, Toad buys a car.
As I mentioned earlier, (or alluded to), Toad really isn't my favorite character. Sure, he's charming, and funny. But in my mind, he is the "evil" of this story, the bad influence, the one who always has to get his way. I question whether Toad is really their friend, or is he just using them to do and get what he wants? Without Toad's influence, though, I guess the story would wither. And we all have negative influences in our life. As the story goes on, I hope to like Toad a little more...

5) In Chapters Three and Four winter comes and we are introduced to Badger. What do you think of the contrast between the spring and summer adventures, and the winter adventures? Also, what do you think of the character of Badger and how he joins in?
I think Badger is actually my favorite character, so far. He likes to bide his time, and look before he leaps. I enjoyed the way the author of the book did explain the differences between summer and winter. I admit, I was rather surprised that Mole took yet another chance, in his desperation to meet Badger, to go on another walk. I was worried about him when he was alone in the woods! I loved, also, the time they spent in Badgers home, and the descriptions of Badgers home. I'd like to go visit Badger myself.

6) As we finish this section, are there other themes or questions I’ve missed? No, I think you covered it pretty well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hotel Hershey?

Where you can take a 'Whipped Cocoa Bath'. Cocoa powder included, to help tighten your skin.

The chocolate antioxidants are good for the skin.
This bath is actually patented by the Hershey corporation.
taking a bath in 880 cups of hot chocolate may have just made my bucket list.
It has grossed me out completely.
I haven't decided, yet....